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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  January 12, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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that's it for us. thanks for watching. erin burnett out front starts now. >> last night, we brought you a shocking picture of what appeared to be u.s. marines urinating on the taliban. tonight, we have the video and audio. we're going to play them for you and we're finding out the identities of the marines thought to be involved, and who is responsible for the murder of a top iranian scientist. and the bottom line, president obama's request to congress to increase the debt ceiling.
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some of the most conservative members of the senate, jim demint, joins us. let's go, outfront. this is a letter from president barack obama. he just sent it to house speaker john boehner. it says, quote, further borrowing is required because the debt is limit to -- is right now close to, well, 11 zeros and a one. >> 100 billion. that means we need more money. the president's asking congress to raise the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. we knew this was coming because this was part of the deal congress and the president signed in august. okay. that doesn't mean it's going to happen without a lot of noise, fury. sound and fury. jim demint has led the charge against the nation's debt problem. his new book is now or never and
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he is "outfront" tonight. good to see you. >> good to see you. we talk a lot about the debt. >> yes, you do. so, this letter comes. dr. mr. speaker pursuant to section -- i hear by certify that the debt to limit and within $100 billion of the limit and further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments. how does it make you feel? >> like we said, we knew it was coming. strange that the so-called deficit reduction bill just increased our debt and unfortunately, i couldn't vote for it because we not only didn't need the raise the debt limit to the degree they were talking about, but we made this a passable with only a third of the votes of house members and a third of the senate members normally, it takes 60 votes to pass this, but part of the deal was we didn't have to vote for it, but it would pass. so i didn't want to be any part of it. we've got to take the debt more seriously than that. we spend all year talking about deficit reduction.
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we passed a spending bill for this year that spends more than last year. >> then senator barack obama also voted against increasing the debt ceiling. then when he became the president, he realized something, which was true, which is that when you don't do that, you default on the debt. most people who own u.s. treasuries are americans. most people who have promises made by the u.s. government in the past are those who get social security. and wouldn't get paid. he's got a fair point. >> not if you cut spending. you don't have to default on the debt, but we're increasing our spending every year, and we have through bush and obama. we can't keep spending more than we're bringing in. we have to borrow over $120 billion every month to keep the lights on. >> are you inherently against -- talking about the economic cycle right now. when things are good, say you didn't spend all your money, then when things are bad, you have a little left over. but also when things are bad, by definition, a government
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according to many economists, should borrow money. then when things get better, you pay it off. are you against borrowing in any case? >> no, but the scale of bow rowing, our debt is bigger than our economy. we're projecting another $10 trillion in additional debt over the next ten years. there's not that much money in the world to borrow. that's what the whole point of the book is. and we've had debt before, but never on this scale and with the type of projections we had. we still have a president who says balancing the budget is an extreme idea. so the plan is to keep spending more than we're bringing in until the whole house of cards falls down. >> let me ask you this, what happened in august when you voted against the debt ceiling. stock market fell 634 points in one day. our debt got downgraded by standard & poor's, which over time -- >> after it passed. >> historically, means our interest rates are going to go up. and you know, from mortgages,
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all kinds of things and the reason that standard & poor's gave the downgrade was it reflects our view that the effectiveness of american policymaking and political institutions is weakened, which makes us pessimistic. about the capacity of congress and the administration. that finger was pointed at you as well as the president. >> they don't see the will to stop the spending. they see a spending addiction and don't see any plan or intent to ever stop spending more than we're bringing in. and that not only sends a signal to the rating agencies, but to our creditors like china and markets all over the world. the only reason we're doing well now as far as our dollar's concerned is the euro's doing worse. and the federal reserve has been buying our debt or a large part of it for the last several years. >> s&p was agnostic though in terms of how we got extra money. cut spending and increased taxes. is there any tax increase you'd be okay with? >> it doesn't make sense to have to do the wrong thing in order to do the right thing.
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american businesses and upper income pay a larger portion of the taxes than any country of the world. you've got the top 3%, already pay half or taxes and half of americans don't pay any. we need to get rid of all the loopholes, all the corporate subsidies and handouts, have a flaterate that is border adjusted so we can compete with the world, but everyone needs to participate in the tax system. >> and handouts. how do you define handouts? all welfare a handout to you or no? >> i'm not saying throw out the welfare program, but i did propose to take welfare spending back to 2008 levels. this is in the context otwe have increased welfare spending 300% since we supposedly refined it in the '90s, and we have made poverty worse. we're not curing it. we're subsidizing poverty and
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trapping people in generational poverty. >> i wanted to read you a quote from your book. there's a lot of interesting ideas and solutions. which i think is fair, give you credit for. you don't just say there's a problem, you go through solutions. there's one thing you say on page 104 that kind of makes a lot of americans cringe. you say democrats exist to beat republicans, period. now, that's the kind of talk that really frustrates people. >> i'm sure it does. i introduce that chapter explaining that i did a lot of work in organizations team building, teaching cooperation, compromise. i understand how it works. what i point out is you have to have a shared vision. unfortunately today, the constituency for the democratic party are made up of people who are dependent on the government and want more power at the federal level like the labor unions. >> you guys don't compromise. >> we're not getting downgraded because we don't compromise. we're getting downgraded because we did.
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every compromise has led to more spending and a bigger government. we can't keep doing that and the democrats will not compromise with us because they have to keep spending. now, if we could talk about tax increases. we could talk about cutting spending. but as a congress and country, we have to decide we've got to balance our budget. that needs to be the first thing. in the house of representatives have a bill to balance our budget or send an amendment to the states to ratify. didn't say how we were going to do it. completely open-ended. just about every democrat voted against ever balancing our budget. we can't live that way. we need to have an honest debate that we have to stop spending more than we're bringing in. if i lose the debate on taxes, so be it. but people need to know the facts. >> although in an cycle, you left open the door. there would be timed you would run a deficit.
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that's important. but the president said medicare cuts are on the table. >> he never put anything in writing that he would cut. never. and there's never been a proposal that we could say, let's take that and work with it. it's just a lot of talk. >> here's my question and one of the big frustrations people have. nobody on either side of the aisle really wants to cut where the big money is. paul ryan has come up with a plan and idea and you can debate it, but cutting where the big money is, that's medicare. medicaid, social security. whether you're going to cut or change our benefits are adjusted, index to inflation. that's where the cuts have to come. are you willing to say that to people, that you're not going to get what you were promised? >> we don't need to say that to seniors to fix the problem, and no one over 55 should have to change their plans for social security and medicare. they paid for it. it's not a charity. >> but somewhere, you've got to
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draw the line. >> i've put proposals on the table. if we could give younger workers a 401(k) style plans that were cheaper for the government and save money, but i make the point in the book, the democrats will not give younger workers a chance to get out of social security with alternative plans. like paul ryan suggested. why can't you keep your personal health insurance? when you retire and let medicare help you pay for it? a lot of americans would opt for that, but the whole point of the book is that there's attention in washington that's not republican-democrat. it's those who want central power and decentralized power, which is what made america great. >> i hear you on your point of view. i know though a lot of americans are so frustrated about the lack of conversation in washington, but i want to play a sound bite. >> you don't get $15 trillion in debt without a lot of compromise and bipartisanship. this idea that there's not -- >> do you acknowledge a lot of that came from george w. bush? >> yes. >> okay.
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>> and a lots of republicans are there to bring home the bacon. this is a party with a problem with both parties have been involved with. if you ask anyone, they'll tell you i've been at war with some of my republican colleagues. >> let me play a sound bite. in 2008, here's what you had to say about mitt romney. >> this is a man who knows how to run things and if there's one place that needs to be run right, it's washington. we need a president like mitt romney who knows how the free enterprise system really works. >> yeah. >> still think it? >> yeah, he knows how to run things and some of the other candidates do, too. i think we have a good field. i think santorum would, newt gingrich, ron paul. anyone in our field would do better than what we've got now. >> "national journal," romney silent surrogate.
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>> every time i say something nice about one of the candidates, and i have been saying nice things about ron paul today, i start getting all these tweets and e-mails. >> you did say some nice things to the daily caller about ron paul. >> if we don't risen to ron paul's -- several things. the unaccountable federal reserve is going to destroy our monitory system. the whole concept of individual liberty and limited government, that needs to be not only the core of the republican party, but american people need to realize that's what makes us great. not this central government collectivism that we have moved towards now. if republicans don't listen to ron paul, we're going to have a divided party because the other half of the country that wants more from government is united and they're going to let people who are going to promise more from government. >> you think there's any way you could have a ticket that had ron paul on it even if romney was at the top of it? >> we could. i don't know how that's going to end up, and i'm not endorsing
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anyone, so despite what the articles say, i feel good about any of them being elected. they all have their good and bad points, but they all would be a lot better. >> before we go, did you know mitt romney was a mexican? >> i don't want to get into that. >> all right. >> is this a birth certificate question? >> we've been talking about it. it's a really neat story. you'll have to stick around it to hear it. thanks for coming on. and mitt romney does hope to be the first mormon president, but would he also be the first mexican president? we will explain. and the latest in the iranian murder mystery. a third nuclear scientist assassinated. and outrage at the governor. more than 200 convicts granted clemency by mississippi governor haley barbour, why? fice devices? they don't get me. they're all like, "hey, brother, doesn't it bother you that no one notices you?" and i'm like, "doesn't it bother you you're not reliable?" and they say, "shut up!" and i'm like, "you shut up."
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so, this morning, i went to and i thought i was looking at, i didn't know, but i saw this headline. could mitt romney be america's first hispanic president? now, this is not something romney ever really talked about until recently and it's gotten a
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lot of people talking. so much so, there's a fake twitter account. @mexican mitt. that's a little funny. but this all started when romney revealed some personal information on the campaign trial. >> when i think about the blessing of america, i think not only about my own dad, he was born in mexico of american parents living there, and he came back to the united states when he was about 5 or 6 years old. with his parents, and his dad went broke a couple times. my dad never got a college degree, but was able to achieve his dreams and became a successful business person. >> romney's grandfather fled america from mexico in 1885 to escape religious prosecution. persecution. romney's father was born in chihuahua, mexico, in 1907. father left mexico for america at age 5 or 6, not exactly clear. no one in the family ever got mexican citizenship and that was in part they were of the mormon faith.
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a lot of people sort of dismiss this over time, but should they? because if romney's family lived in mexico for almost 30 years and his father was born there and as mike taibbi reported this week, he still has a lot of relatives there and cousins, isn't he mexican-american? a third jun generation mexican american wrote a story i saw this morning. john avalon is a cnn contributor. good to have you with us. reuben, what do you think? a lot of people were quick to dismiss this. you reverse the table. somebody comes to the united states, would seem to be mexican-american. or no? >> it's a very serious thing. when i was working with my editor at, we said, what kind of headline could we put on this to make erin burnett sit up and take notice. i'm glad it worked out. bill richardson, who ran for president, he was talked about as vying to become the first
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hispanic president. bill richardson, like mitt romney, has an american born parents and a mexican born parents. so how is it that bill richardson is thought to be mexican, but we never draw that conclusion ability mitt romney? they're exactly the same. >> it is a pretty interesting point. what do you think, as someone yourself, you describe yourself as mexican-american. what's your point of view coming from that background? >> i was born in the united states. both my parents were born in the united states and three of my four grandparents were born in the united states and texas. before texas became part of the united states. my fourth grandparent was in fact from chihuahua, the same part of the world where mitt romney's family comes from. that's what makes this sort of a light column. primo, cousin. we may be related. i hope you don't take offense, cousin, but i don't think you've done a very good job in the campaign in dealing with hispanics an the immigration issue in a thoughtful way.
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moy point is as a mexican american, whether or not he's born from mexican stock or not doesn't help mitt romney with latino voters because he's done such a terrible job of dealing with the immigration issue. there's no way he could do well with him come the election. >> he's talked about being for e verify and things like that. will that make up for the point he does not poll well with hispanic americans? >> no. the guy's name is willard mitt romney. you don't get much less hispanic than that. >> a name is a name, though. >> he bears it out in his demeanor. what reuben's great column is making is the complexity of the relationship. they go back from centuries ago. mexican-americans who have been living in texas for longer than my family has been in the united states.
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part of the problem is that some policies in the border states have alienated the latino community. those have eroded and now, the republican party faces a serious deficit and when candidates pander to the other reaches of their party, it doesn't help. >> reuben, is there anything mitt romney can do to turn this into something? given he may have a legitimate point in terms of a person, identity, family, is there anything he can do politically at this point? >> several things. one is stop confusing his outreach efforts in florida and florida's important. we're coming up after south carolina, an important state, but stott confusing your outreach efforts with hispanics in florida with hispanic in the southwest. it's a whole different thing. that's what you have with these, this dynamic and i see oftentimes that mitt romney seems to think they're interchangeable and that his success in florida will help him in the southwest. and it won't.
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he has to stop going after these immigrants personally by portraying them as takers and be honest about the fact they come here because people put them to work and offer them jobs. >> that touches on marco rubio being a magic quotient, but you have other ideas? >> one alternative is to throw a hail mary pass v.p. pick. it's not going to solve all your problems. everyone talks about marco rubio. they elected two hispanic americans. sandoval and martinez in mexico. the party is evolving, at least in some of the candidates putting forward. that can help heal the distrust, but it's got a lot of work to do. it's policies, not just personalities. >> maybe thanks to both of you, maybe mitt romney can do a little bit of that if he starts tweeting. you never know. tonight, a huge development in a story we've been on which is the mysterious assassinations of iran's top nuclear scientists.
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yesterday, a car bomb killed a supervisor at a uranium enrichment plant, and we've been talking about who's behind the murders. today, leon panetta went on the record with a denial and something else that has a lot of people wondering. >> we were not involved in any way, in any way, with regards to the assassination that took place there. i'm not sure who was involved. we have some ideas, but we don't know exactly, but i can tell you one thing. the united states was not involved. >> leaving us guessing, but iran put the blame on america and israel. an israeli general responded to the claim saying he has no idea who targeted the iranian scientist while saying he isn't shedding any tears over his death. in october, texas representative lamar smith
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introduced a bill in the house called the stop online piracy act. it's called sopa. it's surprisingly bipartisan. of the current 32 cosponsors, the breakdown is 50/50 with both republicans like peter king and marsha blackburn and brad shu sherman behind it. you have balkman and nancy pelosi on the same side. the bill is designed to keep websites from posting material illegally and would aloe the government to shut down websites to do this. if passed, it could affect sites like amazon, youtube and ebay. they regularly allow their users to post content that you can't verify where it came from. that brings us to tonight's number. 12. the number of hours the website red it will be you have line to protest. it announced it will black out 12 hours on wednesday starting at 8:00 a.m. and be replaced with a simple message.
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about how the sopa legislation will shut down places like reddit. google, facebook and aol are angry. all have gone to capitol hill and paraded around and stormed around because they're mad. and you have michele bachmann on board, ron paul, nancy pelosi -- ron paul and nancy pelosi are on the same side of an issue? i hope a super pac is watching. she tweeted, need to find a solution better than sopa. don't break the internet. wikipedia cofounder says he's behind the efforts and is going to black out, too. on his last day in office, haley barbour granted clemency to more than 200 drug dealers, rapists and murderers. why? >> and the return of dsk. you will not believe the shocking defense his lawyers have put up. [ male announcer ] you love the taste of 2% milk.
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start the second half of our show with stories we care about where we focus on reporting, do the work and find the out front five and first, the president asked congress this afternoon to increase the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. it's not a surprise, but it makes republicans angry including jim demint. he came and told us he doesn't think we have to default, but we have to take it more seriously. and stop spending.
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congress has 15 days to deny the request, but the president then can and will veto that resolution. number two, the negative ads are starting in south carolina. the pro romney super pac called restore our future, has just started airing an anti-gingrich ad calling him desperate. super pacs can bring in major money. restore the future has raised over $12 million. it has spent $6 million this election cycle. that's right. south carolina would only be the third early contest. $6 million already spent. three, the majority of mormons believe the united states is ready for a mormon president. that's according to a study released today. on the other side, the study found most mormons, 62%. believe americans know little or nothing about mormonism, which is true, as we talked about last night. we talked about the role
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religion plays and how far the second fastest growing religion has come since 2008. you can watch the essay on our blog. four, retail sales up a tenth of a percent in december. it was weaker than expected. the problem was sales of electronics which may surprise you when you think of things like ipads and kindles at christmas, but a report says that could be caused by the fact that the iphone 4 came out in october. all the sales got stolen from christmas, hurting electronic seas over the holiday season. it's been 160 days since we lost our top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? initial jobless claims rose last week to 399,000. that was more than expected. it is a volatile time of year. you get layoffs from the holiday season. it's still only 1,000 below that mark that indicates a growing or shrinking labor market.
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now to a story we have been following, the sickening video of marines urinating on what appears to be the bodies of taliban fighters in afghanistan. yesterday, we could only show you a still photo. obviously, the jen tail yeah was blurred out. tonight, we have the video and what the troops were saying, so here it is. >> have a great day, buddy. >> yep. i see you zoomed in. >> you can hear the tone in their voice. they were joking and enjoying it. reaction was swift and angry and at home, hillary clinton spoke today. >> i want to express my total dismay at the story concerning our marines. anyone, anyone found to have
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participated or known about it, having engaged in such conduct must be held fully accountable. >> tonight, military officials say they've identified two of the marines in the video, but they have not made their names public. but they believe the men are from the third battalion regiment based in camp lejeune, north carolina. big question is why. why did they do it? how could this happen? sebastian junger has covered the war extensively. you have spent so much time in afghanistan, in helmand province. with troops, with snipers like these guys were. did the video surprise you? >> sort of yes and no. war brings up a lot of very powerful emotions. we have read the illiad.
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achilles dragged hector around the walls of troy in a chariot. that's part of war. but the u.s. military really has to be held to the highest standards and obviously, that's not it. >> obviously, to the best of our knowledge and this has been confirmed as far as it can be from the military, the men in the footage are snipers, and they're a different breed. a different kind of training, different kind of mentality. what kind of mind set do they have and how would that benefit from the snipers you spend time with? into how they behaved here? >> the more intimacy you have with the enemy, the more you understand they are human. snipers have a very hard job because they're killing specific people that they can see from a distance. and i think psychologically, that's very hard. i'm not a psychologist, but i can imagine part of what was going on is them trying to figure out the relationship they have with the people they seemed to have just killed. >> in your time in afghanistan, did you ever experience a similar incident? where there was desecration?
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obviously not videotaped? >> no, i never did. i should say that it's very clear that kind of video will encourage people, young afghans to join the taliban and soldiers know that. guys who saw that video in afghanistan will be shooting at american soldiers in a couple of months and soldiers know that, so there are really good tactical reasons, other than the moral reasons, tactical reasons for not behaving that way. >> and i know that's what people say, that this will help be a recruiting tool. taliban seized on it immediately. but you think that is true. >> yes. it is. and so the soldiers i was with, they were really pretty well behaved. just because they knew it would affect them if they weren't. i should also say in a larger context, these guys are 19, 20 years old. and it's a confusing message. i mean, our government, you know, basically, waterboarding is legal, right? it's legal to waterboard someone.
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a live person. it's not legal to urinate on a dead person. and for a soldier, that's a confusing message to sort out. there's been a lot of messages from senior administration officials in the past ten years, it's pretty dehumanizing of our enemy. it's like the children are listening and these young people absorb that and it comes out in these weird ways. i think we all do bear some responsibility. >> all right. and they are young. doesn't excuse. >> these guys were 10 years old in 9/11, so they've been listening to the political conversation for ten years. what do you make of water boarding in the context of this. which is worse, basically? >> interesting thought. appreciate you taking the time and let us know what you think is worse and what you think of the video that you saw there. >> next, why did mississippi governor haley barbour pardon rapists and murderers.
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and he made headlines when he was arrested on murder charges. dsk is back, andio won't believe the defense his lawyer is mounting tonight. [ monica ] i'm away on a movie shoot and it hasn't been going exactly as planned. cut. cut! [ monica ] i thought we'd be on location for 3 days -- it's been 3 weeks. so i had to pick up some more things. good thing i've got the citi simplicity card. i don't get hit with a fee if i'm late with a payment... which is good because on this job, no! bigger! [ monica ] i may not be home for a while. [ male announcer ] the new citi simplicity card.
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because healthy smiles are built on healthy gums. life opens up when you do. we do this the same time every night, our outer circle where we reach out to sources around the world and tonight, we start in japan where timothy geithner convinced the country's leader to cut the amount of oil. it's major victory because japan is the second largest importer of iran's oil.
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second only to china, which imports 20%. now, china denied geithner's question, but they have cut recently an we asked matthew coning where the move would be enough to hurt iran. >> losing the japanese oil market will hurt the iranian economy, but it's unlikely to have its real effect. iran has been under intense international pressure for years and nothing we have done so far has convinced it to put serious curbs on its nuclear program. >> and now to russia where putin says he's too busy for presidential election debates. he did not debate his challengers and we asked if putin will be able to pull this off. >> the irony is that until recently, vladimir putin could get away with what he wanted. he defined the terms of the debate or whether there was going to be a debate. what is happening is that
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russians are pouring out into the streets, they're rejecting being supporting cast members or really extras in the russian political voice, so you might find that this statement by vladimir putin will backfire. the thing about putin is he's smart enough to realize that and could change his mind. >> tonight, there are four convicted murderers on the loose in mississippi. we are told they hit the ground running on tuesday after being pardoned. by outgoing governor haley barbour. jim hood has vowed to conduct a man hunt if they can't be found. >> i'm encouraging those out there, if you're a family member of one of these five that we're looking for, call our office. the attorney general's office in mississippi and advise them they need to come turn themselves in. >> the republican governor granted clemency or full pardons to more than 200 convicted criminals. >> he said 90% were recommended by the parole board. many were already free.
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we spoke to the parole board, and they did not get back to us to confirm this, but he granted eight years. in the past two weeks, he granted 214. 16 to convicted murders. the judge granted a temporary injunction stopping the release, but all those people are out the door. mary mcabee's brother was killed by one of the released murderers, and she's joining us tonight. also paul cowin. i know this has got to be a difficult and shocking time for you. the man convicted of killing your brother has been pardoned and released. how do you feel about that? >> i think it's one of the worst things that can happen. my brother was such a good person. and for this to come back up for the governor to pardon someone and put him back out on the streets with a full pardon, it really is what we have already
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been through. the night that we got the call when he was murdered was much like what i felt on saturday when i received the call that he had been pardoned and would be released the next day. it's one of the worst things that a victim, the family of a victim can go through. >> and you didn't get anymore warning than that. you were just called the night before. you weren't told this was being considered or might occur? >> no, we were not. >> i know that joseph osment confessed. to killing your brother. he was serving life in prison without parole. how did he kill your brother? >> he -- my brother was shot as they were coming -- joseph osment came into the store first. went around to a cooler. another -- the other person that shot my brother came into the store and he was the first one to shoot my brother.
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my brother fell to the floor. and he was still crawling on the floor and joseph osment came around from the cooler with my brother crawling on the floor and pointed a gun to his head and shot him not once, but twice and when i asked why he shot him, he explained that he did not want him to be able to identify any of them. >> if haley barbour is listening, what would you say to him? >> well, at this point, i would say why? the whole nation is wanting to know why. i think that he needs to at least be accountable to the citizens of mississippi, people of mississippi. he needs to stand up and take a
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stand and at least explain his decision to do this. for him to have full control to do this. is just really to me unbelievable. that he would abuse, to me, he's abused his authority. as a governor, to pardon these criminals, murderers, and let them go back on the street. >> paul, now that you've heard mary's story, how could this happen? >> you know, it's a stunning story. astonishing story. 16 murderers free. and by the way, on the list, i found rapists, people accused of sexual battery, burglars, drug dealers. i have never seen a collect like this. >> they're not only freed, but their records -- >> full, unconditional pardons. >> get jobs, buy guns. >> some of the murderers, this is a horrible story, were sentenced to life without parole
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and suddenly, they're released by haley barbour and a lot of them, the only reason i can see that he did it is because he worked in the governor's mansion. >> should he be allowed to pardon people he knows personally. you see them in one light which is obviously more positive than the past. >> the pardon power which goes back to the beginning of the american constitution, frequently, pardons have been granted to people you know. president clinton pardoned his brother. gerald ford pardoned richard nixon, so people you know get pardoned. i don't think that would be a disqualifier. murders who are not eligible for parole, there's gault to be a really good reason to do that, and i don't see it there. >> mary, is there any way you would have supported the release? >> never.
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i feel like the judge, if he was sentenced to life in prison, then he should do the sentence. he should stay in prison and that's the way i feel. >> thank you so much for telling us that and coming on tonight. mary, and paul, thanks, too. we're going to take a brief break.
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the i.d.e.a. for clean energy that i think it's fair to say hardly anybody else on the planet had ever thought of. >> every once in a while you come across something that makes you say genius. two american women, julia silverman and jessica matthews have come up with a way to fight the battle against the lack of electricity in developing countries. how, you ask? >> it's extraordinary really. kick a ball, turn on a light. >> that's right. literally a ball of energy. soccer harvests energy from a soccer game and turned it into eelectricity. an inexpensive product that packs a life-saving punch. 30 minutes of play can power an l.e.d. lamp for three hours. >> so the science behind it? >> yeah. >> we put a mechanism inside the ball that harnesses the kinetic energy generated during play and stores it as electric energy. any motion you do is kinetic
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energy. we harness that and store it in a basic battery. and you can carry around the ball anywhere and plug in a lamp, a cell phone charger and acts as reliable power. >> can you show me? >> sure. >> sure. >> we brought some of the balls. >> so, here's the ball. and so you play with this for about 30 minutes normal play and you can get three hours of l.e.d. light with this l.e.d. lamp here. check this out. >> l.e.d. might not seem so impressive here, but 1 out of 5 people who don't have access to electricity, that can make all the difference. >> what started as a college project is now an innovation that could change the lives of thousands of children and their families. the conditions where these kids are playing are not great. dusty, dirty, all kinds of elements. can a ball withstand that? >> yeah, that's actually the reason why we created the ball that doesn't need to be inflated and can't be deflated. it's harder than a normal ball because these conditions are a
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little bit harder than a normal grassy field. so it can take the rocks and the daggers. i think we're actually just in mexico where we saw some of the worst conditions we've seen in a while and the ball did okay. >> this year, 3,000 soccer balls will be delivered to mexico, el salvador, haiti, and south africa. sometimes the smallest ideas can truly brighten the world. >> all right. up next, something that really, oh, got our whole staff in a gender war. the shocking defense from dominic strauss-kahn's attorney about a prostitution ring. next. progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund
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so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home. c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t.
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so we saw something before the show today that i couldn't help but mention. do you remember this man? this is dominique strauss-kahn, the one-time chief of the imf who resigned in may over allegations of assault in a new york city hotel room. now he's defending himself against allegations that he's involved in a paris prostitution ring. and today his lawyer mounts his defense that is either one of the more disgusting things in the world or the most genius. our staff was split on which by gender. here's why. "the london telegraph" reports that dsk's lawyer says his client had no way of knowing that the women at the parties were prostitutes because they were "all naked at the time."